The Toronto East End Welcome Project has one purpose: To help refugees settle into a new life in Canada. We are a group of 22 Torontonians from different backgrounds with different motivations for sponsoring a refugees. We started our group in the hopes of sponsoring a Syrian family fleeing the horrors of that countries civil war. Now we’ve expanded our efforts to help any refugees who need us.
Some of us were moved by the heartbreaking photos of a Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach in the fall of 2015. Other members of our group came to Canada as refugees or the children of new Canadians and are eager to pay their good fortune forward to another family in need. Most of us live in the city’s east end. Some of us go way back. Others of us met at an information session put on by Lifeline Syria or found the group through word of mouth.
Although we’re a non-denominational organization, we have partnered with Eastminster United Church and the United Church of Canada to privately sponsor refugees. In June of 2017 we welcomed our first sponsored refugee, an Ethiopian man who had fled to Somalia and couldn’t return home for fear of harm. We welcomed our second sponsored refugee, a woman originally from Congo, in July of 2017. We have also agreed to sponsor a pair of young Syrian brothers. They’re expected to arrive within the year.
TEEWP members have also been helping a government-sponsored family of seven Syrian refugees start new lives in Toronto. You can read about our work with the Al Cheblis family on our blog. We’re also busy raising money for the cause. The more money we collect, the more refugees we can help.
TEEWP organizing committee members
Kelly Lynne Ashton (co-chair)
Karen Somerville (co-chair)
TEEWP members at large